I had another of my great clients, Dr. Keith Baird from Hastings, NE, and three of his hunting buddies, come and hunt on Wednesday the 23rd. They saw literally thousands of birds but managed to bag only 13 at the Church pond.
Their guide for the day was new to the snow goose dancing business. There were several times the "rookie" guide got greedy and didn't call the shot. One in particular was a flock of 1500 that looked like an F4 tornado. The point of the tornado was at 20 yards right over the decoys. The rest of the flock was 'layered up' in a downward spiral. The "rookie" opted to not call the shot in anticipation of putting a severe hurt on the 'fat' end of the tornado. As tornadoes are want to do, it made a low level sweep over the spread and then receded back into the clouds. Oops! That wasn't the only bad call the "rookie" made that day. So hard to find good help.
Thursday, the 24th, brought a day-long blizzard. 6-8 inches of snow and 45 mph winds. During the height of the storm, I made the "rookie" go to the Church pond and pick up the spread of floaters. The forecast was for 5 degrees the next morning. If we left them out, we would have had a total mess. You can't believe how tangled 500 floaters can get with high winds and ice. He labored all morning in the storm from a boat. He wore ski goggles in order to see. The "rook" finally completed the job without falling out of the boat! I was very thankful to get off that pond. Yes, I was the dumb "rookie". Snow goose fever will do that to you.
I anticipate many of the geese will head back south for awhile. They can't go north of here as all of South Dakota is still snow covered and frozen.
Currently it is 19 degrees and the forecast is calling for light snow. We are supposed to start a warming trend on Tuesday. That will give us time to rig the new floater spread and finish the new blind.
A "ROOKIE'S" work is never done!